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RE: Radioactive

The condition has been around a long time . API liked to call it NORM ; naturally occurring radioactive material. It was not very unusual. Basically it was the solids that came out of a well , mostly sand type materials . The potential problem was wellhead separators which concentrated this material and ( long ago) it might be taken from the separator to a dump area along with NORM from several wells. API had a publication for recommended practice to analyze and dispose of NORM. That was the 70's as I remember , I don't know what the practice is today.

RE: Radioactive

The amount of trucking going on here seems quite unusual and the fact the produced water is being (mis) handled in this way is quite alarming. If there is that much water then local well disposal would normally be assumed, or you pipe it to a central location for injection.

The article in interesting but difficult for most of us to work out if the radiation levels are really high or not.

However produced water isn't just "brine", it's clearly got other things in it and shouldn't be treated as such. Spreading it on the roads sounds nuts - at the least the water will evaporate leaving salt crystals to get broken up into powder.

Just goes to show what happens when the industry becomes so de-regulated or unenforced in the name of oil or gas production...

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RE: Radioactive

"Just goes to show what happens when the industry becomes so de-regulated or unenforced in the name of oil or gas production... "

This (just saw it this morning) explains that really well.


RE: Radioactive

Or when what is supposed to be the regulator becomes so intertwined with and dependant on the business they are supposed to be monitoring on behalf of the public that they actually defend them and cease to function in the way it matters.

I think many of us not in the US forget how much power state legislatures have to set laws and decrees and operate many of what would be seen as a national function such as regulation and control of polluting industries.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Radioactive

It is common to run a spectral gamma ray that separates out the Potassium, Thorium, and Uranium components of the radioactivity when you run a well log in the Permian Basin. The Permian is considered to have "Hot" radioactive water. When you run your well log analysis to look for clays, you strip out the uranium contribution so that you are able to see only the radioactivity from the KTH (Potassium and Thorium) components. The KTH components as supposed to indicate the radioactivity of the rock and not the water.

Often times we you want to remove old oilfield equipment, you can call a scrapper and they will bring out cutting torches and chop everything to pieces and haul it off. No money exchanges hands, the metal is the payment. The scrappers will bring a geiger counter to determine if it is safe to chop up or not. I know of some equipment that has been "abandoned in place" because the scrappers won't take it due to the high radioactivity and companies don't want to spend the money now to call in a hazmat crew to properly dispose of it.

This article makes me want to wash my hands before eating a sandwich. I never realized the dangers of the radioactive scale and breathing the dust. I have felt samples of scale from tubing, flow lines, and separators with my fingers. I literally have samples sitting in my office about 4 feet from me. I am so accustomed to all of the water handling equipment that I have never even considered any type of danger around it because there are so many other things in the oilfield that can kill you now that the water seems harmless.

I was told that Ohio has lots of active salt water disposal wells because Pennsylvania does not have the geology to support drilling disposal wells. I'm not sure if it is due to the geology, permitting, or something else. Though, I worked for an operator that hauled water 6 hours each way from well sites in Pennsylvania to disposal wells in Ohio because it was the most economic way to dispose of the water.

RE: Radioactive

Corruption levels in the US compared to other countries are always reported at low ranges because corruption has effectively been made legal here. No United Nations or World Bank interference-setting standards to abide by. Money laundering SOP. Anonymous donor political contributions, self-serving charities, states with shell company- no corporate owner reporting requirements, sweerheart deals, golden parachutes, hollow regulations. Who needs offshore tax havens. This is tax heaven.

I don't think Penn geology is the problem. AFAIK disposal is simply banned?

I see a run on exposure badges coming. I needlessly worried about H2S content. At least they told us about that. Gift those samples to your boss.

RE: Radioactive

I work for a disposal company for Oil and Gas NORM. I am their corporate radiation safety officer and am in charge of the radiation safety program for all of our workers. I conduct training for our workers and other companies in the industry to help them understand NORM and when to call us to complete certain work. If you have any questions about it let me know.
One issue with NORM in Oil and Gas is that each state has a different regulation standard for it, if they have regs for it all. That's one of the reasons having to go from Pennsylvania to Ohio for disposal.

RE: Radioactive

Could you perhaps elaborate where, what fields, or which states, are/have the most severe problems and which have better than average control measures in place both for disposal and for worker protection?

“What I told you was true ... from a certain point of view.” - Obi-Wan Kenobi, "Return of the Jedi"

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